It Doesn’t Like Anything Much, Right Now

For anyone who’s reading AND interested (hah! like, that’s going to be a large area on the Venn diagram of my life), It Likes You is still down. I know, I know. Sorry. There’s some barf between the old version of Geeklog it’s still running, and the latest software updates on the server.

I do have an updated version running locally, but am waiting until I have chance to do a new, more dashing page layout. So stand by for ILY 2.0. Sometime this month, with any luck.

Routers.

I’ve a sneaking suspicion that, for my father, setting up a ‘router’ involved large amounts of sawdust and some sucking of teeth. For me, it involves large amounts of coffee… and some sucking of teeth.

However – and in the completely groundless belief that someone may actually read this – I can heartily recommend Netgear’s RP114 cable modem NAT router (Inmac uk link). Not only because it’s small and dashingly blue, and not merely because configuration and even upgrade do not depend on Windows, though all of this is accurate. No – it’s a cute piece of kit because of one cunning setting in one cunning web control panel thingy; ‘Spoof WAN MAC address as this LAN PC: (then enter a local IP).’ Deeply simple and cool way of setting up routing on, for example, NTLWorld cable broadband, here in the UK.

Once I’d found that, it took all of ten seconds to get everything working. Without it, I don’t think I could have got NTLWorld up and running – they require one to register a new MAC device by using it to browse to a specific IP address. Which, of course, doesn’t work if the thing has no browser.

On Tuesday I will set up broadband for my Dad’s LAN (you know broadband’s arrived when even your Dad has it, by the way). Unfortunately, he’s on ADSL, so we’re having to settle for a NetGear DG814. Sadly, this box departs from NetGear’s trademark blue. Tsk.

Text!

I finally got my TiBook back from Frankfurt, where it had been for screen repair (yikes!). The thing that strikes me most about meeting it this second time?

Oddly, having been away from a Mac for almost a fortnight, it’s… the text in OmniWeb. It’s a joy to read webpages again. Simple as that.

Space, the frontier too far

Bob Park’s latest What’s New column at the American Physical Society continues his ongoing rant against manned spaceflight in general, and the International Space Station in particular. Why? Because it’s sold as a research lab, but it’s not doing any research. Oh, and putting it in a position where it could conceivably do some research would cost a fortune (in science research terms).

Read the Bob. He talks sense.

Shake it all up

Here we go again – time for another shake-up of GCSE science teaching.

While I’m sure GCSE science is deeply dull, and I’m hardly in the camp that chants ‘they have to learn to walk before they can run,’ something about this does worry me. For example, how can one discuss the MMR nightmare in an informed way, without having done any formal statistics? This is, of course, the basic problem with the MMR situation – what’s perfectly reasonable for individuals is a bit of a disaster for the population as a whole.

Besides, haven’t we heard all this before? Wasn’t the whole GCSE thing, back in 1988, supposed to be about relevance and practicality? These may be good intentions, but are they actually new?